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Classics Research Colloquium: Catullus, Horace and (auto)biography
CLASSICS RESEARCH COLLOQUIUM DATE: Thursday, 27 July 2017 TIME: 14:10 - 15:45 VENUE: Committee Room, Classics Department, Room GO 12A, Ground Floor, MTB, Howard College Campus SPEAKER: Dr Suzanne Sharland (Classics,UKZN) TOPIC: Catullus, Horace and (auto)biography ABSTRACT: While scholars once read the writings of Roman poets like Catullus and Horace primarily as autobiography, naïvely assuming that the lives of these artists were laid out there for all to see, in recent years Persona Theory has encouraged us to regard the speakers of these poems as artistic creations and to bear in mind that what may appear to be their innermost thoughts and confessions is essentially a fiction. Nevertheless, it has been observed that there is still a great deal of personal detail and biographical reference in the poetry, which is particularly striking when the poets talk about their hometowns or places of origin. When Catullus refers to the Transpadanes as his own people (aut Transpadanus, ut meos quoque attingam, 39.13), or possibly to the neighbouring town of Brixia as the beloved mother of his Verona (67.34), or when Horace refers to the river Aufidus near his hometown of Venusia at Satire 1.1.58 and proudly identifies himself with the warlike Venusinus colonus at Satire 2.1.35, how artificial are they being? Elsewhere I have argued that the poetic personae of these poets may be viewed as a type of ‘second self’, like the star of a modern television show who shares a name and even similarities with – but is also able to be distinguished from – the fictional character he or she portrays in the show. References to their places of origin, if correct, may be the one area where genuine feelings of loyalty and pride are revealed, and are thus a compelling area for testing the limits of Persona Theory. In this paper I shall investigate the hometown references of both these poets, one from northern and one from southern Italy, and question the degree to which these references act as a type of sphragis or seal on their works, distinct from the more fictional aspects of their personae. Where, if anywhere, does Persona Theory end and autobiography begin? ALL STAFF AND GRADUATE STUDENTS ARE WELCOME! For further information please contact: Dr Elke Steinmeyer Classics Programme University of KwaZulu-Natal 4041 Durban South Africa Tel: +27 31 260 1306 Fax: +27 31 260 7286 Email:
Notice Details
Category Research
Posted Tuesday, July 25, 2017
By Elke Steinmeyer
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